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88-Unit Affordable Housing Complex Proposed For Logan Square

By Mae Rice in News on May 19, 2016 7:09PM

A rendering of the proposed John Pennycuff Memorial Apartments at Robert Castillo Plaza (photo courtesy of Ald. Proco Joe Moreno's office)

Ald. Proco Joe Moreno (1st) is proposing a new, 88-unit affordable housing complex in Logan Square.

Located at 2031 N. Milwaukee Avenue, on a site that's currently a parking lot, the transit-oriented development would be a mixed-use, LGBTQ-friendly building called the John Pennycuff Memorial Apartments at Robert Castillo Plaza. The development would be built using a mix of Chicago Housing Authority funds and funding from the the Fullerton/Milwaukee TIF. Established in 2000, this TIF also helped fund the rehab of Logan Square's Logan Theatre.

Though the development will be explicitly LGBTQ friendly, it will also be open to all, in accordance with housing discrimination laws. A similar development, with 79 units geared towards LGBTQ seniors, opened in August of 2014 in the 44th Ward, at 3600 N. Halsted St. in Lakeview.

This proposed development would provide a counterpoint to two new, full-price transit-oriented developments (or TODs) coming to Logan Square near the California Blue Line station: the complex "L," a 120-unit TOD whose apartments just hit the rental market; and a 216-unit, two-tower development. Rents at L run up to $3,900 a month there (!); in exchange, residents get amenities like a "bike kitchen" and a gazebo made out of a literal retired El car. Rents at the two-tower development will run up to $3,000 a month.

(Updated May 24: a rep from Ald. Moreno's office noted that there will be some affordable housing units available in those nearby TODs. The apartments at 2255-93 N. Milwaukee Ave. will have 22 units of affordable housing on site, and the L, at 2211 N. Milwaukee Ave., will have 12 units on site. Meanwhile, another luxury rental development at 1749 N. Milwaukee Ave., known as Centrum 606 for its proximity to The 606, is not slated to have any affordable housing units.)

The Thursday announcement of this new affordable housing development comes the day after Somos Logan Square, Centro Autónomo and Grassroots Illinois Action announced a protest on Saturday against Ald. Moreno and Logan Square's luxury developments. The organizations argue that Moreno's policies and new development has caused displacement of more than 19,000 Latino Logan Square residents over the last decade. (They also led a protest on The 606, less than a mile south of the development, Tuesday night.)

In fact, an open house about the new affordable housing development will be held on the same day as the planned protest, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the Congress Pizzeria (2033 N. Milwaukee Ave.) The protest will run from 11:15 a.m. to 1 p.m., starting at Moreno's office and ending at the site of the Twin Towers development.